Oetztal Valley, Austria
adidas Sickline 2015
For the 8th consecutive year, the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship takes place on the legendary "Wellerbrücke" river section in Austria's Oetztal Valley. The competition is on October 1st-3rd and 150 of the world's best whitewater kayakers from 27 different countries are signed up already.
A "sick line" is the perfect, smoothest and fastest line downriver. The Wellerbrücke rapids, a famous section of the glacier-fed Ötztaler Ache River, are solid class 5 whitewater, both technically difficult and dangerous – making it the perfect setting to crown the World Champion in extreme kayak racing. The course has the reputation of being the Eiger Northwall of whitewater kayaking.
"Some of the whitewater paddlers who participate in this World Championship run much higher waterfalls and even more extreme rivers during their expeditions around the world. But they do this maybe once in their life and time doesn't matter", explains Axel Burkhardt, Director Global Sports Marketing adidas Outdoor. "The adidas Sickline tests the kayakers' ability to not only get down one of the world's most challenging rapids in one piece, but to do this fast as well. The 280-metre long racecourse demands everything in terms of skill and fitness from the athletes, meaning they have to retrieve their full potential to the point, run after run. They cannot afford the slightest mistake and they must be extremely fit, because the cruxes are located at the end of the course."
Last year's winner Joe Morley (UK) is back this year and will try to conquer his third consecutive title. 23-year-old Nouria Newman (FRA), known as the best female extreme paddler in the world, will return to defend her title, after dominating the women's field last year.
With 28 participating athletes, Great Britain sends the largest national team to the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak Worlds, followed by Germany (21) and France (16).